Quick Links & Contacts

ACS

Office of Advocacy
212-676-9421

PYA Goals

EDUCATION

Alternative Schools
GED Programs
Scholarships & ETVs

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

HOUSING

Finding an Apartment
Emergency Services

JOBS

Summer Jobs

SEXUALITY

Morning After Pill info
1-888-NOT-2-LATE

HEALTH

Citywide Clinic List

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.

MENTAL HEALTH

Suicide Hotline
212-673-3000

LifeNet Referrals
(24 hours)
1-800-543-3638 (English)
1-877-298-3373 (Spanish)
1-877-990-8585 (Mandarin/Cantonese)

Visit www.nyc.gov/teen and click on "Dating and Friends" and "Feeling Stressed" to learn more.

SPECIAL RESOURCES
Youth In Progress

Hotlines (dating violence, housing, mental health)

ADVOCACY

Legal
Lawyers for Children
1-800-244-2540

Legal Aid (call the office in the borough where you lived when you first went into foster care)
Bronx: 718-579-7900
Brooklyn: 718-237-7100
Manhattan: 212-312-2260
Queens: 718-298-8900
Staten Isl.: 718-981-0219

Education/Special Ed
Advocates for Children
212-947-9779

Legal Aid Society’s Education Advocacy Project
212-577-3342

ETVs (Educational and Training Vouchers)

Featured Story

Learning to Love Again: I've finally found a foster mom I can trust.
image by Martell Brown
Learning to Love Again
I’ve finally found a foster mom I can trust.

The first time Yolanda saw my twin sister Taheerah and me, we were cursing out our foster parent. Yolanda was going to be our next foster mom. Who knows what she had in her head about us. We were new to the agency, so the only things in our file were bad things: that we violated curfew and didn’t do our chores, that I smoked and that my sister liked to drink.

I believed she thought, “As soon as they act up once they’re out of my home.” That was the kind of attitude my sister and I had encountered at the other homes we’d been in.

From One Bad Home to Another

Taheerah and I entered care four years ago, after we spoke up about our father’s abuse. The first year we lived with five different foster families.

We lived with a woman who only seemed to care about how much money she was going to get for us. Another foster mother’s main concern was that we wouldn’t say anything bad about her home, which was sweet on the outside but salty on the inside. Those bad experiences made me think all foster moms were the same. I couldn’t imagine trusting any of them.

It was a relief when we were placed in a group home, but it hurt not to have anyone looking out for us. We ran free like little animals without an owner to watch us. Three years later ACS closed the group home and we went back to bouncing from one foster home to another.

She Wasn’t a Fake

At the agency a few days before we moved into her home, the only thing Yolanda said was, “There are chores and a curfew.” I didn’t know what to think of her, only that she was going to be my next victim. I was going to try to hurt her before she got rid of my sister and me. I thought it would be better to get kicked out for bad behavior than to have her reject us.

My sister and I walked into Yolanda’s home feeling sure that within the next month or two we would be on our way out. There was no need to get all attached to the room, the bed, or even the rules.

But that first day at Yolanda’s home my rabbit died. I started to cry. That rabbit was so small and defenseless. It needed me and I let it die. Then Yolanda hugged me. “If that happened to my cat Jackie I would feel the same way that you do,” she said. She wanted my rabbit to be buried and offered to buy me another one. That’s how I realized she wasn’t a fake. . .

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